The hate, with some love
In Arts Devote’s former life he was a croissant maker and baker at the Upper Crust Bakery and Café downtown, and in more than 11 years of seeing constantly rotating art shows on the café walls, there were maybe two shows that did anything for him (aside from the kids art shows, which always ruled—see below). A.D. loves the artists and the energy Chico gives to art pursuits (that’s why he does this column), its just that the average café art fare doesn’t give him charge. So, when someone shakes things up by taking the art from inside the café to the bike rack out front, life gets much more interesting.
While browsing the lively communiqué of CommonPath.org I was introduced to this subtle act of guerrilla art downtown—a knitted pole-warmer wrapped around the bike rack in front of Brooklyn Bridge Bagel Works. Thank you to the obsessively engaged eye of Weston Thomson over at the CommonPath universe for sharing his discovery of the Tag! You’re Knit project. See more of this mysterious local fun-maker’s work at myspace.com/tagyoureknit, and dive into the street-knitting phenomenon of the Texas-born Knitta Please movement at www.knittaplease.com.
Let the kids own it
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” A.D. may have used this Picasso quote before, but in the aftermath of taking part in the reading of hundreds of entries for the CN&R’s Fiction 59 contest it bears reprinting. If A.D. had his way, a child would have won the adult category in this contest—it wasn’t even close. As we read the entries, we could see the layers of social clothing start to drape themselves all over the unfiltered, unembarrassed individuality as soon as you moved from the children to teens category, becoming a full-on shroud as we moved into the monotonous adult world (a tip to adults: tacking a “message” or “moral” on to the end of your story immediately detracts from any such power that your prose may have contained).
Apparently, someone has anointed March as National Youth Art Month, and A.D. is all about that because when it comes to expressing themselves through art, kids are in touch in a way that adults rarely are. As an experiment, go to the Chico Mall and check out the Chico Unified School District’s art display (showing through March 29). Even though many of the projects involve groups of kids copying the exact same subject, the expressiveness still trumps the technique and refinement of most contemporary adult works A.D. has experienced. Not as much thinking maybe, but much more feeling. (A.D. likes the penguins.)
Biweekly devotions• Uncovered: Chico State faculty exhibition at both the University Art Gallery and the 1078 Gallery. Opens March 24 at the UAG, and March 26 at 1078 with a reception at 1078 Thurs., March 27, 7-9 p.m.
• Public Art Policy Committee: Meets Thurs., March 27, 5 p.m., in the Chico City Council building.
• Chico Art Center lecture series: The Chico Art Center is kicking off another monthly series of artist lectures. This month: Fri., March 28, 7:30 p.m., Native American airbrush artist, Ike Montoya. $5 suggested donation.
• Art in Public Places Committee: Meets Tues., April 1, 3:30 p.m., in the Chico City Council building.
• Arts Commission: Meets Wed., April 2, 7 p.m., in the Chico City Council building.